Below is a look at the average performance of S&P 500 stocks (current members) in each sector over various time periods since the bull market began in March 2009. What you’ll notice here is that stocks have really gotten crushed across the board since the end of 2014, and since the end of 2013, stocks are now flat. The average stock in the entire S&P 500 is currently up just 0.68% since the end of 2013.
We know that it took a really long time for a large percentage of investors to “get back in” to the market coming out of the financial crisis. From the lows in 2009 to the end of 2012, there were a lot of market pundits that wouldn’t even characterize the recovery as a new bull market. Not until a rally of 30% for the S&P 500 in 2013 did the doubters get silenced, and that’s also when individual investors started to actually believe that the waters were finally clear. Now, for investors that waited until the end of 2013 to get back into the market, the major indices are flat two+ years later.
Since the lows in March 2009, the average S&P 500 stock is up 329.79%, but since the end of 2009, the average stock is up just 105%. That means that you had to be in the market during the very early stages of the bull to capture the bulk of the gains, which is actually a time when there were plenty of investors still unloading their portfolios after sharp losses over the prior two years.
Below we highlight the 40 worst performing stocks in the S&P 500 so far in 2016. Let’s just say that the declines are staggering, and it’s far from confined to Energy sector stocks. Every stock listed is down more than 25% on the year, and 23 of 40 are down 40% from their 52-week highs.
Beaten down Energy stocks like Chesapeake (CHK), Williams (WMB), Marathon (MPC) are on the list, but stocks like Royal Caribbean (RCL), United Rentals (URI), Vertex Pharma (VRTX), Regeneron (REGN), Harman (HAR), Amazon (AMZN) and Netflix (NFLX) that have been huge winners in recent years are also included.
For market darlings like Amazon (AMZN) and Netflix (NFLX), we’ll be interested to see just how low they go. There are plenty of non-Energy names listed that have already been cut in half. Are you a buyer of AMZN or NFLX if they both fall 50%? At this point they are closer to being cut in half than their recent highs. We would certainly have to take a long, hard look if they got there.